Saturday 25 November 2017

Sarah Carey: Cheap childcare the solution only if children are the problem

If cheap childcare is the answer, why aren't French women working harder than Irish women, asks Sarah Carey

ZIPPING BACK TO WORK: Former French justice minister Rachida Dati
ZIPPING BACK TO WORK: Former French justice minister Rachida Dati
Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey

I never watch Tonight with Vincent Browne because I don't approve of blood sports. But when my husband was channel-flicking last Monday night, I spotted the fabulous Catriona Lynch on the panel and shrieked for him to pause there. A regular on my Newstalk show, Catriona is president of Curam, an organisation for stay-at-home parents, and I love the way she says things even I'm afraid to admit. True to form, she declared that maybe women, rather than men, stay home to mind their little children because they prefer to do so. Hurrah!

I have a lot of regrets about things I did or didn't do, but the one glorious non-regret of my life so far, was leaving my job to mind my own children when they were small. Not everyone can make it work and I don't mind saying those years with toddlers were pretty lonely; but, for once, I did the right thing.

Fellow panellists Ailbhe Smyth (another welcome regular on my show: I do like proper feminists) and Orla O'Connor from the National Women's Council were visibly discombobulated with Lynch's heretical views. That's because full-time mothers are neither seen nor heard in the media. In fact, when I was at home full-time, sometimes I'd be invited to contribute to radio and television debates. But the producers insisted on introducing me as a PR consultant - my pre-marriage job. I'm ashamed to say I let them do it. "Housewife" is not a job title that inspires authority.

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